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Friday
Feb062009

Family Life to be Altered Greatly by 21st Century (1968)


The January 2, 1968 Lima News (Lima, OH) ran the third in a series of articles based on research by the Commission on the Year 2000 of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The third in the series dealt with life, work and family issues humanity would face in the year 2000. As I've discussed before, major social issues are largely ignored in 20th century American futurism, so it's interesting when we stumble upon serious predictions about major social change by the year 2000.

A short excerpt appears below, but you can read the entire first page of the article here.

By the year 2000 Americans may travel by ballistic missile, swallow a pill for a meal and wear tights and helmets like people in science fiction comic strips. Or they may not. There's no way of telling, and perhaps it doesn't make much difference.

 

What matters is the quality of life: What will it be like to live in the year 2000? No one can draw the complete picture, but members of the Commission on the Year 2000 took glimpses from special points of view.

Will people be able to learn and remember what they need to know in the complex world of 2000? Not without help, predicts psychologist George A. Miller of Harvard University.

How will new biological techniques affect relations between the sexes? Perhaps by eliminating marriage and the family, suggested anthropologist Margaret Mead of New York's Museum of Natural History.

What will earning a living be like for Americans? Easier, Herman Kahn and Anthony J. Wiener of the Hudson Institute calculate. Maybe too easy.

Will there be any privacy left? Only if society takes steps to preserve it, warned law professor Harry Kalven Jr. of the University of Chicago.


Previously on Paleo-Future:
21st Century Eugenics (1967)
Future Shock - Babytorium (1972)
Instant Baby Machine (1930)
Civilized Adultery (1970)

 

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Reader Comments (16)

Amazing Blog! :>) 10/10
-It's very interesting seeing what past generations thought the future would look like.

I've pasted a link below to a Blog Header that I've designed for this site...

http://i41.tinypic.com/2akbac8.png

February 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Well, they got the privacy part right.

February 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

Another scary part is the government already controls the number of children you can have in places like China.

February 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKen

Well, this article seems to be pretty accurate. We may not be cruising in rockets or wearing tights to work, but our information society is indeed complex and marriage and the family aren't as important as they were in the 50's.

Judging by some of the things I've seen in the news recently, a "child-rearing permit" does sounds like a very good idea nowadays.

February 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucario

This prediction was a bit more sober than most from that era and before.

Note how they even gently mocked the idea of people in the Year 2000 flying in rockets and such.

The age of innocence and believing in progress through science and technology was beginning to fade away.

Kind of shame really. I know I am not too happy with this so-called future.

February 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The Jetsons lied to us all!

February 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarrock

No - the liberal hippies of the Sixties derailed our future.

February 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Are you actually saying we'd be flying around with jetpacks and destroying the atmosphere, and it'd be a good thing, if the Beatles hadn't existed, or something?

February 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I am saying that the future so many seem to pine for here as depicted up through the early 1960s (before the hippie movement with its anti-authority and anti-science rant, please note) might have happened for real if our society's support of progress had not been derailed by liberals religiously focused on the environment.

Even your comment about "destroying the atmosphere" (by jetpacks?) shows how their propoganda against science, technology, and progress continues to this day.

Don't blame the Jetsons, blame the hippy teenagers who thought they meant well but really just wanted to get high and laid.

February 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I am saying that the future so many seem to pine for here as depicted up through the early 1960s (before the hippie movement with its anti-authority and anti-science rant, please note) might have happened for real if our society's support of progress had not been derailed by liberals religiously focused on the environment.

Even your comment about "destroying the atmosphere" (by jetpacks?) shows how their propoganda against science, technology, and progress continues to this day.

Don't blame the Jetsons, blame the hippy teenagers who thought they meant well but really just wanted to get high and laid.

February 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm completely puzzled by the idea that the 1960s slowed down technological progress. What do you think we're communicating on, a teletype?

But if you still believe the assumption up to ~1970 that the planet is infinite, I despair of helping you.

February 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This blog rocks!

If only I could get my Child Bearing Parent Permit - I would lay this blog down and tenderly make love to it......with the end goal of making good on my permit.

February 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Space IS infinite - but you liberals killed that adventure, too.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

What this has to do with "liberalism" and "environmentalism" is beyond me, especially in light of conservatism destroying the market for emerging green technologies, this stymieing real progress that would actually improve people's lives everywhere. We have the technologies, but they aren't being used, and they are still fighting economies of scale created by wasteful "conservative" subsidies that are, frankly, anti-progress. FFS, the seventies ended, and everyone still fighting those battles should STFU and open their eyes to the real world as it actually IS.

Anyway, I have to wonder: if jetpacks could destroy the atmosphere, which we need to *survive,* who in their right mind would still want them? And why would one dumb idea being recognized as dumb make you decide that progress is therefore too difficult?

As far as I'm concerned, selfish boomers derailed the future. Now STFU and face facts: you fucked everything up for the generations who have to follow you, and will never be able to enjoy the same lifestyle you had in the sixties.

April 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEH

Well they certainly are working hard to eliminate marriage and familes now!

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterpsCargile

Actually, Cargile, we LOVE families and marriage! That's why we want MORE people to be able to get married and MORE people to be able to have children!

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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